DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE ARTS
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-ARLINGTON
SPRING THEATREFEST - GUIDELINES
SPRING THEATREFEST embodies the following objectives:
To develop student comprehension of the elements of production and their significance.
To develop student technical skills (in costuming, lighting, sets, props, makeup, audio,
playwrighting, stage managing, directing and acting).
To increase interactivity between students and faculty.
To develop social and creative skills.
To develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
To develop student’s analytical and research skills.
To develop student writing and communication skills.
To increase student self-esteem by promoting self-expression.
To provide opportunities for experimentation and exploration.
The Spring Festival creates an environment that encourages exploration without the fear
of failure which normally accompanies professional production. The Festival also
provides students with valuable lessons, focusing on the process rather than the product.
Faculty and staff may also propose a work to be presented during the Festival.
The Festival relies heavily for its success upon a strong spirit of cooperation between
participants. The perpetuation of this spirit is a key contributing factor in the overall
health of the Department of Theatre Arts.
The guidelines expressed here are designed to provide a controlled situation within which
the student can progressively focus on selected emphases and enhance growth in those
areas. These guidelines are not intended to control or limit the form or character of
student work, but rather to assist the student in gaining a focus for the work. Their
purpose is to encourage the use of ingenuity and imagination in lieu of “high-tech”
resources so that students will gain self-reliance and confidence from their experience.
The main purpose for these guidelines is to provide students maximum interaction with
both peer participants and faculty advisors.
The primary managerial focus of the production organization resides in the relationship
between the student director/s, student production manager, the faculty tech
director/production manager and the faculty advisor. Responsible and accurate
communication is essential to the successful process of theatre production, so the
director/s, production manager, faculty TD/PM and Festival Faculty Advisor [FFA]
should regularly interact through production meetings, rehearsal visits, phone calls, e-
mail and notes to ensure the quality management of production.
In addition to the above essential relationship, each student production head may have, as
time and workload permits, access to a faculty member in certain areas of expertise. The
student designers (sets, costumes, props, makeup, lighting, sound) may consult with
design/technical faculty on questions of design. Student technicians may consult with
design/technical theatre faculty. Student stage managers and the student production
manager may consult the faculty advisor and appropriate performance or design/technical
faculty. Student directors and dramaturgs may consult the faculty advisor and appropriate
performance faculty. Student house managers, box office managers and student public
relation managers may consult appropriate performance or design/tech faculty. Although
faculty and staff are available on occasion to consult, the actual production process will
be carried out in close correlation with the assigned Festival Faculty Advisor.
There may be one Director, one TD, one Stage Manager and appropriate number of
assistants, designers and technicians assigned for each production.
Festival Faculty Advisor (Manager)
Festival Faculty Advisor is assigned workload by the Theatre Arts Chair and is to act as
the principal supervisor for the One-Act Festival. Other faculty may participate as
consultants when time and/or workload permits.
Duties of the Advisor may include:
Prepare, accept and present applications from directors to the faculty.
Contact chosen directors and production heads and distribute these guidelines.
Attend production meetings to support faculty and student production
management in enforcing deadlines.
Maintain contact with each student director regularly.
In conjunction with the faculty Publicity Coordinator and the faculty Dramaturg,
approve all publicity and promotion that goes out concerning the festival.
Function as a resource person and overall manager for the festival.
Provide time for adequate student reflection and departmental response after the
Directors are selected by the Chair of the Department and appropriate faculty committee
based on the student’s application and discussion about the student’s work in courses and
production. Directors must provide clear and detailed information on the application
form [SEE ATTACHED]. This form will be posted in late spring of the academic year
for the following year’s festival. The guidelines for each year’s festival will be available
in the Theatre Arts Office. Assistance in the procedure is available from the Chair of the
Department or from appropriate faculty.
Once selected as a director, the student should consult these guidelines and meet with the
Festival Faculty Advisor to clarify the following directing responsibilities:
Determine royalties prior to the beginning of the theatrical season, fill out all
information and give to the Production Manager, who in turn will work with the
Theatre Arts Department Administrative Assistant for further processing.
In conjunction with the Production Manager, request number of scripts needed to
Coordinate the posting of audition information with the Production Manager.
Conduct auditions with Stage Manager assigned to your production.
Meet with other directors and Festival Faculty Advisor before posting cast lists. A
good faith attempt must be made to not cast one person in several productions.
Post cast list.
Confirm a meeting time through your Stage Manager to meet with your cast and
In conjunction with the student Production Manager, distribute and post a
rehearsal schedule. (copy to Festival Faculty Advisor)
Coordinate publicity materials with other directors through the assigned student
Publicist, the Festival Faculty Advisor and the faculty Publicist.
Meet with designers well in advance so that design deadlines can be achieved
prior to the beginning of rehearsals.
Attend all production meetings called by the faculty and student Production
Update Festival Faculty Advisor, through rehearsal reports via e-mail, with
weekly information about the progress of the production.
Schedule a time with the Festival Faculty Advisor to attend a run-through
rehearsal at least two weeks prior to opening. More feedback from the Festival
Faculty Advisor may be needed. The director may request that other appropriate
faculty attend a run-through if faculty time and workload permits.
Designers will be required to express their intent through a short paragraph (Deadline by
the start of the first week of spring semester) for a possible design assignment to the
faculty TD/PM. After consulting with the design/tech faculty and staff, the faculty
TD/PM will assign appropriate positions through the Theatre Practicum (THEA 0181)
structure. The following responsibilities will apply to each designer (i.e., sets, props,
lighting, sound, makeup, costumes, special effects):
Meet with the director and other designers early so that design deadlines are
achieved prior to the beginning of rehearsals.
Attend all production meetings called by the faculty and student production
Update the student production manager, stage manger and technical director about
the progress of your assigned tasks concerning the production.
Prepare all relevant materials and information by the arranged deadlines and make
sure that this information is properly received by the appropriate student staff
Gather appropriate clearances for the purchase of any items or materials from the
faculty production manager via the student production manager.
Festival Production Manager
The student production manager will ensure continuity for the festival; this entails a
sizeable responsibility on the part of the student, and includes the following assignments:
Attend all production meetings called by the faculty PM. No production meeting
can be called by anyone except for the faculty production manager.
Assist in the effort to coordinate and work with all assigned personnel to every
Function as the center of communications between actors, directors, crew, and
Prepare/distribute the production schedule.
Control the bulletin board and post all necessary information.
One Stage Manager will be assigned to each production. Each Stage Manager will
coordinate their activity with the Festival’s student Production Manager. Stage Manager
Assist the director with their auditions.
Assist in the effort to coordinate and work with all assigned personnel to the
Make sure that actors know their call times.
Attend all production meetings.
Prepare a contact sheet and distribute to the production manager, festival advisor,
and other appropriate personnel.
Prepare a prompt script.
Organize the rehearsals (e.g., taping out the rehearsal floor, maintaining quiet and
order at rehearsal)
Control the performances (give ½ hour, 15 minute, and 5 minute calls, and call
Maintain a courteous, organized, punctual, and efficient attitude throughout the
Attend all production meetings.
Work closely with the designer and director to understand and plan for all set
pieces, sound/lighting needs, props and costumes.
Supervise the procurement and/or building and setting up of all set, prop,
costume, lighting, sound and other technical needs.
Supervise all running crews for the production.
Other Assigned Positions
Other assigned positions will have defined responsibilities as laid out in the Departmental
The ultimate responsibility for the selection of plays for student-directed works lies with
the chair and faculty of the Department of Theatre Arts. Students are encouraged to
submit their own titles for possible production.
Directors, Production Manager All primary applicants to the Festival will be screened
by the chair of the Department of Theatre Arts. This screening should consider
department resources, qualification of the applicants, priorities of the program, time and
space scheduling, and the value of the project to everyone concerned.
All copywritten works are subject to a royalty, payable whether the production is
presented for an audience or not; thus, projects which require payment of large royalties
are definitely discouraged. It is the director’s responsibility to determine royalties prior to
consideration of a project. The Department’s production budget is the source of payment
for approved royalties.
Festival production needs are evaluated according to the requirements of each show, the
theatre space to be utilized, the human-power available, and the objectives of the Festival.
The Chair of the Department will determine the budget allocation prior to the
production/s announcement to the public. Students will work with the faculty and student
Production Manager for allocation of these funds into the various areas of production.
Casting and Rehearsal
Casting should occur in the first week of the semester in which the Festival is to be
presented. Rehearsals should begin no later than four weeks before opening night.
Directors must confer with the Festival Faculty Advisor on all casting decisions before
posting cast lists. (this will help to ensure that certain students are not overused, that
students are eligible to participate, etc.)
Directors and Stage Managers must be aware of shared stage space for rehearsal needs
and must sign out space times for rehearsal in advance.
Assignment of support people from Theatre Practicum will be assigned by the faculty
TD/PM, assisted by the student Production Manager.
Designers will work within available budget, utilizing stock whenever possible, and
building only when necessary. Other technical needs such as sound, properties, and
make-up will be decided as the need arises in consultation with the student production
manager and, if necessary, faculty TD/PM.
A certain amount of publicity will be available through the promotional organization of
the Department of Theatre Arts. These advanced publicity deadlines will be determined
by the faculty Publicity Coordinator and communicated by the student Production
Manager to each of the Stage Managers and Directors of each production.
Audience and Admission
Tickets will follow the normal ticket sale schedule, sold in advance through the
Department box office and at the door. Directors must supply program information by the
pre-arranged deadlines as set out by the faculty Publicity and Show Playbill Coordinator.
Complimentary tickets will follow the policy set by the Box Office Manager and the
Chair of the Department.
The Department of Theatre Arts requires certain courses as prerequisites to the student’s
consideration for working in leadership roles during the festival productions. In this way
the student experience should represent a progression beyond the course work required,
and should provide a proving ground for ideas and theories emanating from classroom
study. The following minimum of courses are required for student leadership positions in
the festival (any exceptions must be approved by the chair of the department):
Directors: THEA 3300 Directing I
(must be a junior or senior, seniors will be given
for scenic designers THEA 3301 Scene Design I
for lightings designers THEA 3305 Lighting Design I
for costume designers THEA 4343 Costume Design
Production Manager: THEA 1304, 3304 Stagecraft I, II
Tech Directors: THEA 1304, 3304 Stagecraft I, II
Stage Managers: THEA 4302 Stage Mgr Thea Admin
(if potential stage managers have not had the opportunity to take THEA 4302, a
student may be considered to fulfill the position of stage manager if they have already
been a SM or an assistant SM on a Mainstage production.)
To participate as Director, Designer, Production Manager, Tech Director, or Stage
Manager, you must have taken or must be currently enrolled in the above classes.
To participate either as a performer or on production crew you must be enrolled in THEA
0181 (as a Theatre Arts major) and/or be currently enrolled as a part-time or full-time
student in the university.
Students need to maintain focus on their objectives for the Spring Festival, which offers
opportunities of ownership and learning about the process of play production. This
opportunity is a step towards the development of professionally polished works of
Theatre Art, but students cannot gain a worthwhile experience from it if their goals and
evaluations are based on product-based answers and approaches. This is what makes the
festival unique for students-- it is designed for growth, not gloss.
Therefore, the program is scheduled towards the end of the year so as to take full
advantage of the learning time leading up to performances in late spring. The budget is
kept at a minimum for all the elements of production including sets, costumes, scripts,
publicity, sound, lighting and props. Performances are scheduled accordingly. These
factors are part of the intention in the designed student experience, so that solutions need
to be found through the interaction and imagination of the students working with the
production, rather than relying on faculty or financial solutions to solve problems.
CONCLUSION: GROWTH, NOT GLOSS
Student productions are designed, as described above, to provide a process-oriented
experience that may have limited value as a final product. As a Department, it is our goal
to assist in any way possible to advance this learning growth. As a production venue,
however, success is primarily based on the collaborative energies of students accepting
responsibility to produce. Therefore, as problems surface, students are encouraged to seek
solutions within your production team. Faculty and staff will be on duty to consult when